Windows 7: Device Stage overview

So far, in our Windows 7 Overview series, we have published the following:

Over the next few weeks we will be adding many more focus items on Windows 7 including Touch, Windows 7 networking and media enhancements. Stay tuned for the ultimate Windows 7 focus from Neowin.net. Here is an overview on the new device stage feature.

Device stage promises to be a huge part of Windows 7 and the way you interact with devices and hardware attached to your system. Microsoft is currently working with a wide range of partners to ensure their devices are fully device stage compatible at the 7 launch.

Microsoft has published a list of compatible hardware and only a handful of devices are currently supported. That said the device experience in Windows 7 is greatly improved with or without device stage.

When you first plug a device in, if it's a common device it will load drivers almost instantly compared to Vista. Printers, USB keys, webcam, external HDDs all install their drivers within seconds and are near instantly accessible compared to the waiting time of device driver installation in Windows XP and Vista. If 7 can't find drivers it will automatically search on Windows Update.

Today I want to look specifically at Device Stage and the experience you get when you plug in a Nokia N95 8GB phone.

Firstly the device will install and you will be presented with the following confirmation asking you whether you'd like to visit Nokia and download their own syncing software:

Next the device will place a taskbar tab on the superbar which shows a photo realistic image of your device:

If you click on the thumbnail it will present the following screen which has all the options for your device:

I chose the import pictures/video option, it will scan your device and find the relevant items:

You have options on where to import the data:

After the import is successful you can then tag your photos:

As well as being able to access features such as importing MP3s using WMP and links to the manufacturers manuals you can also change the way the device works when first plugged into your PC:

Devices that aren't fully supported may still work in device stage like my printer below which isn't on the official list, this way I do not need to install the manufacturers applications to scan from this all in one printer:

Microsoft has also posted a video detailing the way Device Stage works

Overall the experience with devices is greatly improved with Windows 7 from its predecessors, one can only hope that Microsoft ensures device manufacturers include this option for their Windows 7 drivers.

If you are interested in Windows 7 features please check out our previous overviews:

Over the next few weeks we will be adding many more focus items on Windows 7 including Touch, Internet Explorer 8, Windows 7 networking and media enhancements. Stay tuned for the ultimate Windows 7 focus from Neowin.net.

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I also played a little with DDOres.dll, and my devices look much better now:


BTW, how come some devices are recognized at device stage, while others (e.g. keyboard) are not?

Looks like builds 7022 and 7048 don't have device stage in them.
Hopefuly it's just not integrated since those are leaked versions.

Plug the usb cable in your n95 8gb and select Media Player on the phone instead of PC Suite!
Please post a screenshot of the Device Stage when you make it!

Did all that and more. Then wiped the plate and installed win 7 en-us.
Suddenly everything seemed to work. MP installed the the n95 allright but
would not accept the German version of PC Suite 7.1. After downloading
Suite in en-us it worked after troubleshooting compatability.
Looks like the German Version is somewhat behind in updating.

PS: Made a screenshot but dont how to get it over or into here.

Sorry, so far, Win7 doesnt load my n95 8gb as discribed above.
Could it be that I run a German version?
I noticed on Windows device support Nokia n95 8gb only in en-usa.
Any help?

My 710 HP Photo printer installed ok but every boot it failed installing the driver again?
Nero did not install at all in any mode, alcohol installed in vista mode but wanted to reboot over and over to finish. a shampoo burning suite installed ok but would not work. It is definitely quicker than vista but if things don't work it's no use to me. my V8 installs ok but motorola phone tools just didn't want to know, V5 of phone tools btw. MP12 seems to be getting a lot of press and if it has eventually the features of 11 it will be ok. Adding media is painfully slow if not in the default place.

video has a pretty hilarious continuity error. both laptops completely change part way through the video -- not that its a big deal or anything.

too bad , my N70 aint supported either :(

it does get all the driver throgh

hopefully that gonna support ton more device by the time windows 7 get released

or that gonna sucks .

or another nail in the coffin ..... for my Cell phone ofc lol

I wrote about this about a week ago in my Hebrew MS blog, where I discovered that you have to use 'media player' mode in N95 8G to have Device Stage work, however I still wish the basic Sync/Contacts/sms/batterylife features we've seen in presentations would be available.

Plugged in my Olympus p-10 photo printer and it failed to find drivers for it. Works just fine in Vista. Software that came with it will never work with it. Technically Olympus doesn't support Vista, but it works. Dads got one too and works on his Vista Home Premium. But not in Windows 7. That being said... doesn't work in ubuntu either. I just got the public beta so I can officially mess around with it. Already figured out not to import a foreign disk. That corrupted a parition table on an external (sorta it's for the 2ndary drive bay of my Latitude D820. Wonder where I put that spare battery. o_O Installing Windows7 wasn't clean either. Crashes on the first time setup run. Just hangs at that silly stream line running like KITT. detecting video performance. Rebooting ignores that screen and I can get Windows 7 started. But Vista Beta installed without problems. Bad sign. Hope they fix that.

How did you get your Photosmart C4200 to work?

I tried installing drivers for the Photosmart C6380 (same machine you guys sent me :P) but the installer froze at the "Select connection" screen.

I have the AIO connected via a wireless connection. It appears in the Add Printer wizard as a networked printer, but I get an error message following a brief automatic driver search on Windows Update.

That's why I tried using the installer package from HP's site. Except that installer freezes.

rm20010 said,
I have the AIO connected via a wireless connection. It appears in the Add Printer wizard as a networked printer, but I get an error message following a brief automatic driver search on Windows Update.

That's why I tried using the installer package from HP's site. Except that installer freezes.


Can you extract the drivers from the HP installer then install the device manually?

worked with my n96 when i connected it bit earlier, i thought i was going to have to find the disk out, but suprisingly it worked without even telling it what to connect to through the phone *eg pc suite, mass storage etc and its not even on the list of devices

HTC is not yet supported. You need to download and install Windows Mobile Center for Windows Vista in Windows 7. Yea, its really bad that very very few devices are supported for this beta. I am sure that list will grow as Windows 7 beta is now widely released!

Thanks, i would of thought it would of been supported already since its a windows based product, but i guess thats down to HTC to support Windows 7? (not sure on how all this works and who creates what to work with Windows 7 lol)

Chaks said,
Yes. HTC has to integrate their devices into Windows 7 Device Stage

They have now. I've just set my HTC TyTN II with Windows 7 beta.

i just connected one of my cheaper cell phones: a sony ericsson w200a and it seemed to install drivers without any problems or hassle, something which Vista, even though the drivers existed, continuously failed to do!

only problem is that Windows 7 doesn't recognize it as a phone. it recognizes the modem and everything but an image of the phone does not appear, nor does it allow me to access it like the n95.

will try out the blackberry storm shortly and let you know if there is any difference...

honestly, my experience with cell phones and computer syncing has been that not using the PC suite which accompanies the phone is actually a better route to go. the pc suites often complicate the simplest of tasks anyways.


small update: choosing the file transfer option with the sony led to the pc recognizing it as a mem stick. the device, however, still does not appear as the nokie, and i doubt it will, for some time, at least.

I don't think the 810i or w200a are currently on the list. Check the list of supported devices. To have a device experience, the vendor will need to author an experience for the phone.

How did you get your N95 to appear? I install mine over bluetooth and it fails on driver install telling me to get them from Nokia. The PC suite moans about unsupported OS, tho I've not tried it in vista mode yet.

I have to be honest this works very well, it worked with my MP3 player in showing how much charge it had and other details as well is able to display the manual and offer me everything I needed to do with it effortlessly, including having the correct icon and image of the product.